Agriculture Cabinet secretary Mithika Linturi has said that the government’s initiative to collect data on farmers across the country will play a critical role in ensuring there is food security in the future.

Speaking during the launch of the Training of Trainers (TOTs) of Assistant County Commissioners on registration of farmers for the fertilizer subsidy programme on Wednesday, Linturi said that the data will help the government to make targeted interventions as it races to enhance food productivity.

The registration exercise targets farmers involved in various crop production and aims to establish a credible national database of all farmers, including farmers’ identity, profiles, crop acreage, and fertilizer requirements.

“I am sure that if we continue with this initiative, we will be able to collect crucial data that will benefit our country, and with the aid of the National Government, we will make ensure that productivity increases in the next year and 18 months looking into the current strategies put in place,” Linturi said.

The Agriculture CS said that the time has come for the country to become self-sufficient and move away from overdependence on aid during drought.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Agriculture will collaborate with other departments including county governments to ensure the success of the countrywide exercise.

On his part Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo reiterated that the exercise will be voluntary and urged National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) to uphold inclusivity, integrity and fairness throughout the registration process.

He noted that the registration of farmers will be free of charge warning any administrator who plans to take advantage of the exercise to charge farmers.

“We will be decisive against dereliction of duty and indiscipline by any of our officers,” Omollo warned.

By Fred Azelwa.